It was record-setting day for senior running back Connor Silveria and South Dakota School of Mines football as the Hardrockers won a shootout over Adams State Saturday 56-42 on Dunham Field at O'Harra Stadium.
After fellow running back Kevin Thompson went down in the second quarter with an injury, Silveria got the bulk of the carries and shattered the single-game rushing record, racking up 425 yards on 46 carries and scored three touchdowns, including a 79-yarder in the first quarter. He averaged 9.2 yards a carry as he ripped through the Grizzlies' defense.
"We were going to do whatever it took to win this game," Mines coach Zach Tinker said. "Certainly it’s usually a two-headed monster, and with Kevin out we needed (Silveria) more than ever and he delivered."
Silveria eclipsed the old record held by Jim Guthrie in 1977 and Kevin Ptak in 1996, which was 245 yards. He leads the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference with 1,028 yards on the season.
As a team, the Hardrockers also broke three team single game records – total yards (705), total rushing yards (538) and first downs (36).
"This was not for the faint of heart, this was big boy football. They are so talented on offense and so difficult to defend, it took us awhile to connect with everything but I don’t think in years past we would have won this game and I’m really proud of the guys and the work they’ve put in," Tinker said. "We’re playing really well on offense, we knew we needed to do that. We’re talented but we’re so youthful on defense and we’ve got some veteran leaders on offense, they played well."
Two of the RMAC's top offenses took center stage with over 100 points put up on the scoreboard. The Hardrockers led, 20-14, after the first quarter and after each team exchanged a pair of touchdowns in the second period, the score was knotted at 36 at the half.
The Hardrockers then took to the ground in the second half while the Mines defense stiffened. The offense scored 14 points in the third quarter and added another score in the fourth quarter.
Mines quarterback Jake Sullivan rushed the ball 13 times for 73 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes and completed 11-of-20 passes for 167 yards.
Senior wide receiver Isaiah Manley hauled in five passes for 118 yards and also scored a Touchdown. Ira Murphy was also credited with one catch for a score in Saturday's win.
Mines improved to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the RMAC while ASU fell to 4-3 overall and 4-3 in the RMAC. The Hardrockers will take on New Mexico Highlands on the road next Saturday in a game Tinker said will have big importance for the program.
"Anytime you win the games seem like they become more important. Winning last week made this game more important and winning this week makes next week more significant, but we have this one circled," Tinker said. "This is one where we have a lot of respect for New Mexico Highlands, they’re playing really tough football and I’ll be curious to see if we can come back.
"I thought we responded pretty well this week form the emotion of how well we played against B.H. (Black Hills State), so now it’ll be a chance to see if we can take this show on the road."
Kickoff between Mines and Highlands, who is 2-5 overall and 2-4 in the RMAC, will be 1 p.m. Saturday from Las Vegas, New Mexico.